The Utah Jazz wrapped up their 2013-14 regular season tied with the Boston Celtics for the fourth worst record in the league. As everyone knows, because of the tie, the Jazz and Celtics had to compete in a coin flip to see who would enter into the lottery in the fourth position and the fifth position. As a result of that coin flip, the Jazz head into the lottery in fourth.
Whether the Jazz end up fourth, climb to the top three, or even fall down to seventh, (the worst position they can draft), the Jazz have a good chance at finding a piece in this draft that can help them in the future. However, it is all depending on picking the right players.
During the 90’s, the Jazz were able to draft well and get guys that fit around their centerpieces in John Stockton and Karl Malone. Now, the Jazz are trying to build that core with the leadership of Jazz general manager, Dennis Lindsey, leading the way. Currently, the Jazz have a nice young core of guys like Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Enes Kanter. With as good as this upcoming draft class is supposed to be, adding another great talent to the core could be extremely beneficial for years to come.
However, as we seen last year during the draft, drafting towards the top of the draft, isn’t necessarily the best thing if you don’t draft right. The Cleveland Cavaliers took Anthony Bennett number one overall, and he had a nightmare of a rookie season. We take a look back at how the Jazz did in the draft since the year 2000.
Coming off the 1999-00 season, the Jazz had just gotten beat in the Western Conference Semifinals by the Portland Trail Blazers. Before that, the Jazz went through a tough first round match up where they beat the Seattle Supersonics in five games. The Jazz still had their starting unit together of John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell, Karl Malone, and Greg Ostertag. That season, the Jazz finishes 55-27 and won the Midwest Division. As a result of their season, the Jazz landed with the 23rd pick in the first round. The also had the 50th pick in the draft.
With the 23rd overall pick, the Jazz selected DeShawn Stevenson out of Washington Union High School. Stevenson was the Slam Dunk Champion in the McDonald’s High School All American Slam Dunk Contest his senior year. Stevenson would appear in 222 games for the Jazz before he was traded in 2004 for Gordon Giricek.
With the 50th pick that year, the Jazz took Kaniel Dickens out of the University of Idaho. Dickens only appeared in 19 games in his NBA career, but there wasn’t anyone past 50 that got drafted that made much of an impact in the NBA either.